BMW‘s upcoming high-performance M5 sedan is expected to pack a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrain, and has been spied on the inside for the first time ahead of its likely 2023 reveal.

    This BMW M5 prototype’s interior bears a clear resemblance to a previous regular 5 Series prototype’s and has the BMW Curved Display rolling out across the carmaker’s broader line-up. The rest of the interior is largely covered by black sheets.

    One strange element of this prototype’s interior is the missing gear shifter. There’s the allocation for it, but it appears the shifter could be a stubby switch like the one in the Volkswagen Golf Mk8.

    There’s also a flat-bottom steering wheel with toggles and buttons that appears very similar to the those on the iX SUV’s hexagonal steering wheel.

    The outside of this BMW M5 prototype is largely the same as a previously-spied test mule, but is missing production-ready tail lights. Instead it’s fitted with fake prototype units.

    Power in the next-generation BMW M5 is expected to come from a version of the plug-in hybrid setup debuted in the XM SUV.

    Powering the XM is a 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 plug-in hybrid powertrain mating a 145kW/280Nm electric motor with a 360kW/650Nm engine for total system outputs of 480kW and 800Nm.

    BMW is also working on a more powerful version of this powertrain for the yet-to-be-revealed XM Label Red that bumps the outputs of its V8 engine to 430kW and 750Nm. It’s good for provisional system outputs of 550kW and 1000Nm.

    The current M5 uses a 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine producing 460kW and 750Nm.

    The BMW XM has a hybrid-specific M xDrive all-wheel drive system which includes an electronic rear differential lock in the rear axle transmission.

    It also features an active anti-roll system, although it’s not clear if the lower-riding M5 will require the same tech.

    The M5’s expected PHEV powertrain is confirmed by the presence of ‘Electrified Vehicle’ stickers plus a visible charging flap at the back of the front wheel arch.

    As recently reported, Bimmerpost forum member ynguldyn, who claims to compile future product information from leaks within BMW, says the next M5 will also be available in a Touring wagon body style.

    The sedan, codenamed G90, will reportedly enter production in July 2024, with the G99 Touring following in November.

    The new M5 models should launch after the core 5 Series range, which will reportedly enter production in July 2023 in sedan guise and March 2024 in Touring guise.

    The Bimmerpost user said the 5 Series will offer a range of petrol, diesel, plug-in hybrid, and electric powertrains, with the latter wearing the i5 name.

    Level 3 autonomous driving technology will also reportedly be introduced in 2024.

    Click an image to view the full gallery.

    MORE: Everything BMW M5

    Jack Quick

    Jack Quick is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne. Jack studied journalism and photography at Deakin University in Burwood, and previously represented the university in dance nationally. In his spare time, he loves to pump Charli XCX and play a bit of Grand Theft Auto. He’s also the proud owner of a blue, manual 2020 Suzuki Jimny.

    Buy and Lease
    Uncover exclusive deals and discounts with a VIP referral to Australia's best dealers
    Uncover exclusive deals and discounts with a VIP referral to Australia's best dealers